Kranjska Gora (Slovenia) (AFP) - Kiwi teenager Alice Robinson produced a barnstorming second run for a thrilling victory in the World Cup giant slalom race at Kranjska Gora in Slovenia on Saturday, pushing Petra Vlhova into second.
This was a second World Cup win for the 18-year-old Robinson, who stunned three-time overall champion Mikaela Shiffrin in the season-opening giant slalom at Soelden last October.
American star Shiffrin is taking a break from the circuit following the death of her father earlier this month.
Robinson, the diminutive giant slalom junior world champion, was second behind Vlhova on the first run as hard snow and bright sunshine saw many competitors bouncing and clattering around the 42 gates.
The 24-year-old slalom specialist Vlhova was 0.24sec faster than Robinson after the opening run and looking good.
But the New Zealander was in a class of her own in the late run, crouching with a low centre of gravity as she powered home more than half a second faster than anyone else.
"It's a tough hill and the snow was really hard, but it was similar to Soelden and even if a mistake cost me the lead in the first run I felt great going up in the ski lift," Robinson said.
"I could hear the crowd cheering on the way up and even from the start gate," she said.
"I was just really going for it. I was on the limit so I wasn't sure how I was doing, but when I got to the bottom and saw the time I was really excited."
Home favourite Meta Hrovat sat third at the halfway stage and did just enough to hold onto her podium slot with her second descent.
Vlhova is third in the World Cup overall standings, 244 points behind leader Shiffrin.
The Slovakian also climbed two places in the discipline standings on 333 points, with Italy's Federica Brignone leading on 407 points. Robinson is fifth on 300.
The start gate for the event was at a relatively low 1,171m altitude and there has been almost no snow in Slovenia during what has been an unusually warm winter.